Hot Wheels, El Camino, Chevelle, Franklin, Classic Cars, Automobiles, Rome Ga, Floyd County, Grand, Summer 2019, V3, Readv3

1969 Chevelle - Photography Jason Huynh

Tom Bennett may be retired, but he goes to work every day. While managing an office complex off of Riverside Parkway in Rome, Ga., Bennett gets to bring his true passion with him.

Located in the large garage in the back of his office building, here Bennett works on his three prized vehicles: a 1977 El Camino, a 1969 Chevelle and a 1933 Franklin. Each car is well cared for, as he can be seen driving around Rome in each of them, if the weather is nice.

“I chose the Chevelle because it’s almost exactly like a car that I had in 1969,” says Bennett. “It had the Super Sport package with buckets seats.” He bought the El Camino to honor a beloved car from 1977. He explains, “The ’77 El Camino I found up in Habersham County. A kid that was going to Kennesaw State University was the second owner of the car, so it was really nice. I had a ’77 Chevelle in 1977 for a while and I liked it, so I bought this one.”

While he doesn’t have any memories with a Franklin, when he saw the 1933 automobile at a car show in Tennessee, he knew he had to have it. And while he doesn’t have a favorite car, if pressed he will tell you that his favorite ones are the ones he has at the moment.

Bennett’s family appreciate his cars, but he makes it clear that it’s his hobby. “My wife doesn’t criticize me or fuss at me for buying them, but she’s not a car nut like I am,” explains Bennett.

Tom Bennett

In fact, Bennett has spent his whole life around cars and has no plans of stopping anytime soon.

“I just always enjoyed looking at cars and I guess, like a lot of kids, my earliest memories were wanting a Craftsman toolkit for Christmas so I could work on cars,” laughs Bennett. “I was about five years old at the time, so I guess it goes back a pretty long way.”

With his lifetime of knowledge and experience to depend on and share about his cars, Bennett says it all boils down to this: “I have always loved automobiles.”

Ashlee Bagnell is a graduate of Kennesaw State University where she received her BA in English. She spends her time writing (mostly) Bartow stories at Noble & Main. When she isn’t writing for the magazine, she can be found reading, drinking coffee, binge watching Netflix and HBO shows, drinking more coffee, and even sometimes acting with ACT I Inc., a community theatre based in Cartersville. She lives in Euharlee, Ga. with her family and her two senior adult dogs Milo and Charlie Brown.